How To Grow Sprouts
In some seeds, the vitamin content is increased by as much as 20 times during the sprouting process.
Why Grow Sprouts?
Sprouts are also among the least expensive foods you can buy and among the easiest to grow. They’re an excellent choice during winter months, when outdoor gardening is limited, and you can harvest your crop within about a week of starting the process.
Eating plenty of whole, organically-grown foods and sprouts may offer some of the highest levels of nutrition.
- When sprouting seeds, nuts, beans, and grains the plants contain more concentrated amounts of nutrients. As a result, you need to eat far less sprouts versus a mature plant.
- The essential fatty acid and fiber content increases dramatically during the sprouting process.
- You get more and higher quality protein from sprouts.
In some seeds, the vitamin content is increased by as much as 20 times during the sprouting process. Some go even higher containing an estimated 100 times more enzymes than fresh fruits and vegetables. This allows your body to extract higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from other foods you eat in conjunction with the sprouts.
What Types of Sprouts Should I Grow?
Commonly sprouted beans, nuts, seeds, and grains include, but are not limited to:
- Alfalfa- a good source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and K
- Wheat grass- high in vitamins B, C, E, and many minerals
- Mung bean-good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins C and A
- Lentil sprouts- contain 26 percent protein and can be eaten without cooking
- Brussels sprouts- One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts is packed with more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.
Choosing and Buying Sprout Seeds
Whoever you buy from, be sure that they are selling organic, non-GMO, heirloom seeds.”Seed-quality” beans are generally recommended for sprouters, as compared to “food quality.” Seed quality means that the seeds are meant to be grown and therefore will sprout.
These can be found in health-food stores and specialty shops, and are available from many excellent mail-order houses. I buy all my Organic Heirloom seeds from Amazon.com. My favorites are sunflower shoots, broccoli sprouts, and pea shoots.
Note: “It is important for health & quality to use seeds that have been specifically prepared to be used for sprouting. You should not use ordinary garden seeds which may produce sprouts that are not suitable or safe for eating.”
A B C’s of Growing Sprouts
To grow sprouts you’ll need a large wide-mouth jar such as a mason jar (or similar container). You’ll also need a sprouting lid, which can be purchased online or you can use cheesecloth. A rubber band will be needed to secure the cheesecloth atop the jar.
A. Select you’re sprouts- seeds like alfalfa, wheat grass, radish, broccoli and sunflower etc. Only put one type of seed (or bean or nut) into your jar. For seeds, use a teaspoon. For beans or nuts, use ¼ cup.
B. Cover the seeds with at least one cup of water (use 3 times as much water for beans and nuts, so ¼ cup of beans = ¾ cup of water).
C. Cover the jar with the sprout lid or cheesecloth and let sit overnight.
D. Drain off the water, rinse the sprouts and drain again. Leave the jar upside down on a wire rack or slightly tilted so that excess water can drain. Repeat the rinse/drain procedure several times a day.
E. Depending on what type of sprouts, they can be ready in as soon as one week. Remove and discard the hulls by placing the sprouts in a bowl of water and agitating them slightly. Dry them and eat! You can store the unused sprouts in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Note: You can easily grow sprouts and shoots with or without soil
With Ball jars you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth and it can become a hassle. Moreover, you need dozens of jars to produce the same amount of sprouts as just one flat tray. When growing sprouts in soil, you can harvest them in about a week, and a pound of seeds will probably produce over 10 pounds of sprouts. In one 10×10 tray, you can harvest between one and two pounds of sprouts, which will last you about three days. You can store them in the fridge for about a week.
PS: I hope you enjoyed this article- If you have any questions or want to leave your own personal comments, join the conversation below, I want to hear your thoughts on Growing Sprouts!
To your sprouting success,
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